Backing for $300-a-week au pairs over $800 nannies
Financial Review - Joanna Mather - July 26, 2014

The Siregars have churned through nine au pairs in four years. Indonesian-born Sherly Siregar pays just over $300 a week for up to 45 hours of care by a German au pair who lives with the family in Caulfield North in Melbourne. That figure includes a fee for an au pair agency and a...

Opinion: Productivity Commission gives Tony Abbott chance to rethink parental leave scheme
Courier Mail - Paul Syvret - July 26, 2014

THE Productivity Commission has delivered Prime Minister Tony Abbott a "get out of jail free" card when it comes to substantially modifying (or preferably ditching) his controversial paid parental leave scheme. The Commission's report into Childcare and Early Childhood Education (CECE)...

The granny nannies: it's a labour of love, not money
Sydney Morning Herald - Harriet Alexander - July 26, 2014

The army that powers the nation's workforce by taking care of its young is not so much devoted to duty, for the most part, as it is devoted to grandchildren. I do it for me… I absolutely love it. Susie Balderstone begins her pilgrimage in the dark, rising before 5am at her home in MacMasters…

New app lets parents know whether the kids are all right
Sydney Morning Herald - Rachel Browne - July 26, 2014

When Matthew Whisker picks his children up from their north shore childcare centre he doesn’t automatically have to ask how their day went - he already knows. The Neutral Bay father has an app which alerts him to the daily activities and achievements of his children Harry, 11 months...

Richard Glover's guide to raising babies
Sydney Morning Herald - July 25, 2014

The government, we've learned this week, might be willing to pay for at-home childcare from qualified people - so why shouldn't parents themselves be eligible? Sure, we'll need to take the requisite TAFE course, but the basic information can't be that hard to master. Here's a quick...

Childcare training scam uncovered in Vic
NEWS.com.au - July 25, 2014

A SCAM in which migrant women paid up to $3000, and studied for up to a year, only to be handed fake childcare qualifications has been uncovered in Melbourne. UP to 100 women are thought to have received fake Diploma in Children''s Services qualifications in the scam, which ran from...

Nannies better off at fast-food outlet
The Examiner - Isabel Bird - July 25, 2014

NANNIES are heralded as the future of affordable and quality childcare yet questions are raised about who will fill these roles when childcare workers are the least paid in the country. The Productivity Commission's draft report into Childcare and Early Learning recommended that...

Parliamentary childcare closure threat blamed on communication breakdown
Canberra Times - Primrose Riordan - July 24, 2014

Anglicare has agreed to continue providing childcare at Parliament House until the end of the year after a communication "breakdown" was blamed for this week's threat to close the service. Meetings on Thursday between Anglicare, the Department of Parliamentary Services and...

Working Australian mums struggle to find childcare, national survey reveals
Herald Sun - Jessica Marszalek - July 23, 2014

HALF of working women say difficulty finding childcare "always" impacts on their ability to go to work, according to a national survey. The Greens' annual childcare questionnaire this year found difficulties were on the rise, and one in five women at least "sometimes" found it a problem...

The costly day to day of daycare
Financial Review - Jennifer Hewett - July 24, 2014

Yet despite what the Productivity Commission calls the "ballooning" cost to taxpayers, out-of-pocket costs for child care are 27 per cent of the average wage and families, on average, pay 37 per cent of their child care fees. Assuming they can even find childcare. Many families rely on relatives to...

Childcare tax perks defended
Financial Review - Nassim Khadem - July 24, 2014

Companies and their advisers have urged the Abbott government to reject a Productivity Commission ­recommendation to abolish tax breaks for employer-provided childcare. Employers can access fringe benefits tax exemptions for providing staff with in-house childcare, while non-...

Parliamentary babies may be out in the cold as childcare centre set to close
Canberra Times - Primrose Riordan and Noel Towell - July 23, 2014

New paid parking laws, security restrictions, and requirements for casual places for MPs are being blamed for the potential closure of childcare services at Parliament House. Parents have met at "Aussies" cafe inside the building on Wednesday in shock after the childcare provider, Anglicare...

Top businesswomen back subsidised childcare over PPL
Financial Review - Nassim Khadem - July 23, 2014

Leading businesswomen have renewed calls for the government to consider granting tax deductions for childcare. Assistant Minister for Education Sussan Ley said she was open to the idea, despite a Productivity Commission report saying it would benefit rich women. The draft report, released...

Productivity Commission support for relaxed visa rules for au pairs
Financial Review - Joanna Mather - July 23, 2014

A nanny rebate and more relaxed visa conditions for live-in au pairs are among the recommendations being considered by Assistant Education Minister Sussan Ley. The Productivity Commission's draft report on childcare recommends allowing families to claim subsidies for care...

Rich families 'will be slugged by proposed reforms'
The Australian - Patricia Karvelas - July 23, 2014

BIG business and Australia's largest childcare provider are concerned that families earning more than $160,000 a year will be financially hurt by recommendations to remake the childcare system. It comes as the Abbott government defends its plan for a generous paid parental leave scheme...